Day 127: We made it to New Orleans! 🤯
And on Day 127 we made it to New Orleans! 🥳
On Sunday we paddled 51 miles to the end of what is known as the Chemical Corridor, right up to the French Quarter in downtown New Orleans. The Chemical Corridor, also known as Cancer Alley, is the 150 mile section from Baton Rogue to NOLA. The name “Chemical Corridor” comes from the high amount of concentrated industry that lines the banks of the Mississippi River down here. This portion of the River is especially dangerous due to the increased quantity and quality of traffic: giant ocean liners, massive freight ships, cruises, paddle boats, and even a few gargantuan battle ships have now entered the chat.
As I write this, we are about 45 miles from the ocean! Tomorrow we’ll make it to Venice, the last town on the River and our final chance to fill up on potable water.
From Venice we will paddle 11 miles to Lower River Mile ZERO, the “Head of Passes.” Paddlers can finally kiss the big ships (ShipShip™️) and barges goodbye as traffic will head to the ocean via the Southwest Pass. We will take the shorter, calmer South Pass which is only accessible to fishing boats and paddlers.
Two miles in from the Head of Passes is a campground on the South Pass. This is where we will spend our last night camping. From there it is just ten miles to the ocean!
It looks like we will be windbound (unable to paddle because of dangerously high winds) for at least one more day before we make it to the Gulf. Overall the weather has been extra fierce these last few hundred miles. Wind and fog have kept us onshore even on days when we’ve woken up at 4am to try to get in miles before the afternoon winds whip into a frenzy. 🌬️
It’s almost like the River is trying to keep us with her juuuuuust a little extra while longer. 💜
As for me, the thought of getting to the end of this long, sacred journey is surreal. I’m not sure I can even comprehend it until I get there. So for now I’ll continue to savor each mile, each sunset, and each moment while I still can.